Join us for a WE19 MEGA Session!

SWE's mega sessions are all set to inspire and educate our members on a variety of fascinating topics. Check them out and join us for WE19 in November!!
Now Open - WE19 Call for Participation

SWE is hosting seven big sessions at WE19 we like to call mega sessions. We encourage everyone who’s attending WE19 to take a look and join us at a mega session that speaks to you.

Be Resilient and Brilliant
ACC – North 100
10:30am – 11:45am; Thursday, November 7, 2019

Smita Tharoor, Director at MnAgenome

Gender bias has gone underground. Often referred to as ‘second generation’ gender bias, it involves subtle and often invisible barriers for women due to cultural assumptions and patterns of behavior that benefit men and put women at a disadvantage. These biases manifest themselves in lack of role models, gendered jobs and career paths, lack of access to sponsorship programs and informal power circles. It also includes the double-bind; assertive behavior that is admired in men and chastised for women. Most importantly, women themselves have self-limiting beliefs which hold them back.

In this interactive and practical keynote, Smita Tharoor will investigate individual bias and cultural prejudice that impact women in their working and personal relationships. She will explore an understanding of our unconscious bias and emotional resilience and suggest personal strategies to enhance and empower ourselves in the workplace.

Her keynote is the first step towards behavioral change and the integration of a gender perspective in everyday work. It allows women to see the possibilities in themselves, their leadership abilities and their decision-making, encouraging them to harness their true potential.

About the Speaker

Smita Tharoor is a motivational keynote speaker and thought leader on the Unconscious Bias and how it influences all of us. Whether it’s speaking at a Women’s Empowerment conference in India or talking about “Successes and Failures” at conference in London, Smita is seen as empowering and inspiring. She connects with the audience on a personal level and people remember the talk long after it was given. Growing up in secular India taught her the value of tolerance and the appreciation of accepting differences. She is passionate about diversity and cross-cultural competence. Working in different parts of the world gives her a unique advantage in understanding the expectations and needs of a global economic workforce.

Influencing Across Cultures
ACC – North 100
12:30pm – 1:45pm; Thursday, November 7, 2019

Allyson Stewart-Allen, Chief Executive at International Marketing Partners

To be an effective global communicator – and save yourself time, money and embarrassment while you build your overseas client base and networks – you must be fluent in the business cultures of international stakeholders. Whether you’re encountering other business cultures while traveling the globe or at your desk sending emails, communicating and influencing across cultures is critical for business success. This practical and relevant workshop will give you actionable information about your international colleagues’ business practices and transform you into a fluent corporate diplomat.

After attending this mega session, you should be able to (1) Outline constructs and vocabularies for defining cultural differences, (2) Define the characteristics of global leaders, teams and organizations, and (3) Develop strategies for engaging international stakeholders using the TMA Country Navigator cross-cultural model.

About the Speaker

Allyson Stewart-Allen is an award-winning international business consultant, whose expertise in brand internationalization is sought by leading businesses globally through her consultancy, publications, appearances, mentoring and corporate education. A Californian based in Europe for over 25 years, Allyson applies her extensive advisory experience, MBA education with Dr. Peter Drucker and languages (French, German) to the company she founded, International Marketing Partners. Allyson has advised more than 200 businesses in 26 countries including Aegis, BAE Systems, Burberry, Cadbury, Coach, HSBC, Lufthansa, NBC Universal, SAB Miller and Shell. She is an experienced and frequent commentator lending her insights to broadcast, print and digital media across the globe.

Courageously You!
ACC – North 100
2:00pm – 4:15pm; Thursday, November 7, 2019

Sabina Nawaz, CEO at Nawaz Executive Consulting

Everyone can relate to the idea of a critical voice holding us back from a dream, but what if there was a systematic way to re-think the role and expression of interior voices? How might it impact our efficacy and creativity as leaders? Often daring ideas and innovative solutions lie bound and gagged at the mercy of social convention, expectation, and simple fear. Learning to overcome your inner critic to speak up takes courage.

Sabina reveals a five-step process to reliably shut down the voice of your inner critic and achieve your dreams with courage. You’ll start by examining the role interior voices currently play in your successes and failures. Then Sabina outlines a set of concrete steps you can take to attract, cultivate, and curate positive voices to help propel you toward your dreams.

About the Speaker

Sabina Nawaz is a global CEO coach, leadership keynote speaker, and writer working in over 26 countries. She advises C-level executives in Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, non-profits and academic institutions. Sabina also teaches faculty at Northeastern University and facilitates a faculty fellowship development program at Drexel University. Previously she spent over 14 years at Microsoft. There Sabina led the company’s executive development and succession planning efforts for over 11,000 managers and 700 executives. In addition, Sabina has spoken at hundreds of seminars, events, and conferences including TEDx. Currently, she sits on the board of Power and Systems, a leadership development institute. Sabina believes the greatest privilege of working with leaders is bearing witness to their acts of courage. Look for more stories, insights, and advice on thriving as a leader on,, and Please connect with her on Twitter. Sabina’s education includes a B.A. in Computer Science with a minor in Electronics from Smith College, an M.S. in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, and several certifications and advanced training in leadership development.

Stress Mastery: Tools to Transform Stress for Good
ACC – North 100
10:30am – 11:45am; Friday, November 8, 2019

Heidi Hanna, Founder and Chief Energy Officer of Synergy

Stress is quickly becoming the leading cause of disability and disease, contributing to 75 – 90% of medical visits and costing the US Business economy an estimated $600 billion annually. Despite escalating costs to individuals and organizations, current stress management protocols are seriously outdated and may be causing more harm than good. Based on the recent neuroscience of stress, a paradigm shift is required where we no longer try to minimize or manage stress but rather mobilize the insight and energy it provides to master it; using stress as fuel for positive change, creating resilience and social support that extends beyond the workplace.

After attending this mega session, you should be able to (1) redefine stress using a new framework built upon recent neuroscience research, (2) identify the different types of stress and stress reactions, and techniques to train whole-brain skill sets that transform experiences of stress, and (3) practice a simple Brain Recharge technique designed to build cognitive and emotional capacity

About the Speaker

As an experienced speaker, Dr. Heidi Hanna has been featured at many national and global conferences, including the Fortune Magazine Most Powerful Women in Business Summit, ESPN Women’s Leadership Summit, and the Million Dollar Round Table. She is founder and Chief Energy Officer of Synergy, a consulting company providing brain-based health and performance programs for organizations, and the Executive Director of the American Institute of Stress.

Dr. Hanna is a National Board Member for the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, a Fellow with the American Institute of Stress, and she currently serves as editor of their quarterly publication, Contentment. Recently, Dr. Hanna created The Beyond Funny Project, a non-profit dedicated to providing resources and education related to the benefits of healthy humor.

What Works for Women In Engineering: Bias Patterns and Strategies For Navigating Them
ACC – North 100
12:30pm – 1:45pm; Friday, November 8, 2019

Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of the Law

40 years of research document the same bias patterns over and over again. Prof. Joan C Williams has studied how these patterns play out in everyday workplace interactions, as well as strategies savvy women use for navigating successfully through workplaces shaped by subtle – and sometimes not-so-subtle – gender bias. Her work also focuses on how the experience of gender bias differs by race: for example, Asian-American women report more pressures to behave and feminine ways, and more pushback if they don’t, than any other group of women. In partnership with SWE, she has also studied how bias operates in different countries and will compare the US and India. Prof. Williams’s books are available wherever books are sold or visit

About the Speaker

Described as having ‘something approaching rock star status” in her field by The New York Times Magazine, Joan C. Williams has played a central role in reshaping the conversation about work, gender, and class over the past quarter century.

No Networking Allowed: How to Build Authentic Connections
ACC – North 100
2:00pm – 4:15pm; Friday, November 8, 2019

Terra Winston, Ringleader at inTerractions

There is no question that networking is critical in business. It opens doors to new clients, careers, and even internal opportunities. However, just because it is important doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Many people struggle with the typical view of networking – big rooms full of people exchanging small talk and business cards. But there is a way to build your network in a meaningful way that is beneficial for both parties! This interactive network session will give attendees the chance to start making connections that matter.

By the end of this session, you should be able to (1) identify the different roles that people in your network can play (2) employ the necessary steps to establish and maintain authentic connections (3) assess your network so that it can better support your current and future career needs.

About the Speaker

Terra Winston, Ringleader of inTerractions, has dedicated her life to helping good people do great things. She is a leadership consultant and executive coach with 20+ years of internal and external business consulting experience. Terra’s successful approach comes from her unique blend of “hard” and “soft” business skills. She holds a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia, an MBA from Stanford University, and coaching certification from The Coaches Training Institute. Prior to founding inTerractions, Terra worked at Deloitte Consulting as a consultant on process and organizational engagements and as a Director at PepsiCo doing traditional HR, diversity & inclusion. With an expertise in leadership development, facilitation, and DEI (diversity, equity, & inclusion), Terra implements a broad variety of custom solutions for her clients. A sought-after speaker, Terra delivers workshops and keynotes that do more than entertain – they give attendees the tools to change behavior.

Technology and the Future of Humanity
ACC – Ballroom
8:30am – 9:45am; Saturday, November 9, 2019

Shara Evans, Technology Futurist, Founder and CEO of Market Clarity

In this mega session, futurist Shara Evans talks about how technology will impact jobs, security, and privacy as well as providing incredible business opportunities to commercialize these concepts into innovative new products and services. Shara will explore big picture items such as what will it mean to be human in the age of pervasive technology.

After attending this session, you should be able to (1) recognize the changing world of 2030 and identify how technology will impact jobs, security, and privacy as well as providing incredible business opportunities to commercialize these concepts into innovative new products and services, (2) capitalize on the future, now – thinking outside the box, imagining the world in 10 – 20 years, (3) avoid futuristic dystopia – addressing business threats associated with emerging technologies: AI and Robotics.

About the Speaker

Shara Evans shows organizations how to take advantage of the opportunities underpinned by emerging technologies. As one of the world’s top female futurists, Shara is one of those rare individuals who merge incredible technical skills with an innate understanding of the social and economic impact of new technologies.

Regarded as a leading expert on emerging technologies, cyber security, digital privacy and the future of health, humanity and work, Shara is regularly featured on broadcast television. She’s appeared on ABC’s Q&A, The Project, Sky News, Weekend Sunrise, Lateline, and more and is routinely interviewed by radio, print and online media. An accomplished entrepreneur Shara is the founder and CEO of leading technology analyst firm Market Clarity and previously founded Telsyte, a strategic telecommunications and technology consulting group.

As a keynote speaker, Shara Evans weaves a narrative of a near future radically different from our current world… but clearly recognizable as the result of today’s newest technological leaps. By contextualizing and humanizing the research and technology that will shape the next 10-20 years, Shara assists organizations to create and commercialize the products and services of tomorrow.

We hope to see you at one of these mega sessions and we hope you enjoy WE19 on November 7-9, 2019.

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